My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Surfing The Nations, Wahiawa, HI, USA
I have been living on Oahu for a couple of years. I remember back in 2010 driving up through Wahiawa to the North Shore and noting how absolutely sketch the area was. The particular area was home to a nasty bar, liquor store, X rated picture shop, “lady” club, and a “house of ill repute.” Some people might consider that a wonderful example of civilization at its finest, but I personally thought the sight of it all was not cool.
I heard that this group, Surfing the Nations (STN), was going to try to move in and clean everything up. I had heard of plenty of these types of endeavors over the years and did not really think these STN guys had a chance.
I left for the war in Afghanistan, and when I came back, my reaction was, “what happened to Wahiawa?”
The place was completely transformed. STN somehow figured out a way to buy up all the nasty businesses and create a nice, regular piece of civilized Hawaii. The local kids were getting free school mentorship and being taught to swim and surf. Plus somebody convinced Walgreens and some other third party players to move in. The place no longer looks like a slum from a Banana Republic with the world’s oldest profession hanging out by the street corner. Upon this revelation, I decided that I was believer in STN. They had done what they set out to do, and it was good.
Now, it is only good if you happen to think the idea of the word’s second oldest profession hanging out on the street corner is bad. Some people might think that the loss of the take-their-clothes-off club, bar, liquor store, etc. is a bad thing. If you are the kind of person who misses the good old days when Wahiawa was known for being a happy place for perverts and drug addicts, by all means, please do not donate to STN. STN will use your money in a creative fashion to continue to ruin your ideal world of child slavery, drug addiction, and alcohol abuse.
Bottom line is that STN is a regular non-profit run by nice people with the intent of helping the community. Helping the community is something that nice people believe very strongly in doing. If you have a problem with the idea of nice people helping their community, please join the communist party USA and do not donate to STN, you have been warned.
While my personal, empirical experience with STN has been positive, some of the reviews on this site would lead one to believe that STN is the second coming of Charles Ponzi. I beg to differ; at least until proven otherwise. I just wish the reviewers: Tadd, ChrisR, and Jacob E, would provide additional information so that their concerns can be taken more seriously.
Here are my responses to each of them.
Tadd refers to STN as a “scam.” This is a very serious legal term that would mean the leadership of STN should be in prison. However, Tadd gives no proof for his serious, reputation-harming charge. If he had something to back up his claim, I would be inclined to believe him, but he does not give any references for farther investigations.
As for the licensed teachers thing, I have never heard of a non-profit after school program that requires a licensing procedure. And since a vast number of the volunteers have bachelor degrees (and beyond), I don’t see the point. Would you prefer STN to pack up and leave the poor kids with nothing?
The Starbucks thing is my favorite, the lame and bizarre attack on the quality of Surfers Coffee Bar did very little to convince me of the complaint that STN is a “scam.” Please use stronger arguments next time. ☺
ChrisR. says some intense stuff too. Personally, I don’t understand why it is a red flag to have a family highly involved in a cause they believe in. I would agree with him perhaps if he could show me that STN never does anything and the Bauers are making millions, but my own eyes tell me differently. My favorite part of the post is when he says, “I could write pages about it but I think my point is made.” Your point is not made, and the fact that you could not even provide a link to a Hawaii Star Advertiser story highlighting the abuse (perhaps because there is no such story) just makes you look intellectually retarded. Maybe you are actually Steve Jobs back from the dead and are brilliant; but please, try to back up your massive claims with more than 6 sentences.
Jacob E. actually wrote a review that had some content to it! Not that I agree with the content, but I thank him for at least attempting to make a coherent argument. His basic idea, as I understand it, is that STN is setup for the soul purpose of making money for the Bauers. I have been trying to do the research Jacob recommended (990’s, etc.) but have yet to find any of the extreme money making operations he describes. Besides highlighting some of the brilliant (and I think recommendable) financial systems used by STN, he also mentions to following. “With Marcus Oshiro sitting on the chair of Finance and Appropriations Commitee, the marriage of State, STNF, and Yamada was in line for the gentrification of Wahiawa, primarily the Ohai district.”
Oh yes, the conspiracy of gentrification! It is almost like they actually intend to follow through on their plans to improve Wahiawa! We must all start stocking up on liquor and X rated pictures immediately as these do gooders might actually end up doing what they have been saying they plan to do the entire time; make the world a better place. A big thanks to Jacob for agreeing with my central thesis, that STN is an organization dedicated to improving places like Wahiawa.
Bottom line is this is a wonderful organization that is actually, physically, making a difference in Hawaii. Some people don’t like positive change, but for the rest of us, STN is an awesome outfit!
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?